Like Christmas, Easter is not simply a day but a season.
Lasting fifty days, the season of Easter, also known as Eastertide, is a time for celebrating new life. After journeying with discipline and devotion through our own desert-places during Lent and walking alongside Christ through the realms of darkness, uncertainty, and betrayal evoked during Holy Week and the Triduum, the light of Easter morning brings the assurance of resurrection and redemption.
As the earth bursts with new life around us and the day grows longer than the night, we are reminded of the significance of the process of metamorphosis to the spiritual journey. We must surrender what is old so that we might be made new. Without it, there would be no transformation. It is this truth that we savor and celebrate during the fifty days of Easter.
While Easter is the oldest and most significant feast in the Christian church, however, it begins not with the sounds of celebration, but in the quiet corners between longing and liberation. Christ’s resurrection isn’t a triumphant event proclaimed with fanfare so that all might know of his return, but rather a mystical visitation to those who remained faithful and had eyes to see.
Because we, too, know of the redemption that awaits, we are not fully disheartened by the darkness faced during Holy Week because it is death that gives resurrection its meaning. Instead, we inhabit the hours leading up to Easter with patience, awareness, and anticipation, keeping vigil as we wait for the appearance of the risen Christ. In the final leg of our communal journey along the path of the passion of Christ that began during Holy week, we recount the stories that led to the coming of Christ and progress toward the moment in which we can finally declare, “He is Risen!”
This is the proclamation of Easter and the manifesto of the season to come. Just as we were invited during Holy Week to enter into darkness and contemplate how we have in our own ways crucified Christ, we now are invited to live in the resurrection as we celebrate the risen Christ and honor the things that bring us new life, both big and small.
For fifty days we are called to view all of life through the lens of a Sunday feast, dwelling in the abundance of the kingdom of God as we name and celebrate our places of resurrection. These places of life serve as guideposts for the journey, for they are where we continue to encounter Christ—the way, the truth, and the life, and the pathway to the Divine—on our journey of awakening.
The invitation of Eastertide, then, is to look for these guideposts in everyday life and lean into them as we seek to live out and celebrate the kingdom of God and the renewal that it brings.
This is an excerpt from the Sacred Seasons perpetual liturgical wall calendar. Let it guide you through the fifty days of Eastertide and the rest of the liturgical seasons year after year! Available in the Journey Shop »